Tithing is the biblical precept that 10% of our income (before taxes) should be given back to the Lord in gratitude for the many blessings which come our way. It is not a principle only for the rich. A 10% tithe is a gift back to God, no matter the level of income or situation in life. Even if you live off of Social Security or some other aid, a tithe is the norm.
The concept of a tithe is not Gospel Prosperity, that you hear from some fundamentalist preachers. This idea is an error that suggests that when you tithe, God will bless you with an even greater gift. This error is not biblical. To put a finer point on it, Joel Osteen, the feel good preacher in Texas, teaches this. He is valued, personally, at 56 million dollars. If leaders of the Church profit from the givings of the people—shame on them. A tithe is meant to pay the bills, yes. This is only practical. But, most of the money is meant to assist the poor, provide for a just wage and benefits of those employed by the Church, to evangelize the world around us, to promote the work of Christ, and present a reverent and holy worship of God by the upkeep of the church and all the grounds entrusted to her.
I have made it my goal as a pastor in the many parishes I have administered, to personally tithe (for it is a blessing to honor God in this way). I have striven to be open and honest regarding the use of your tithes. And, to always inform you as to the direction we need to take and the developing concerns which must be addressed. Nothing is a secret. I want to assure you that the gifts you give to honor God are being wisely and thoughtfully exercised (as I will be judged by God as to my faithful stewardship of the treasures of St. Joseph’s that have been entrusted to me as pastor!)
I want to strongly encourage you to continue being generous. Tithing to your Church and to organizations that reflect Catholic teaching. I also want to thank you for your current generosity, asking that you stay faithful to your giving and increasing it when you can!
As we honor God with a true and faithful tithe, God will honor such trust. Not in some tit for tat, equal plus blessing! But, in ways only He can see, and in circumstances we may never realize in this life.